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Monday, 27 September 2010

Feng shui e-book

This weekend I attended a seminar on feng shui and face reading. These are ancient metaphysical sciences, which sometimes transcend and defy attempts to conduct strictly scientific and empirical examination on them. Nevertheless there are people who find that there are logical basis for some of the assumptions and teachings in these metaphysical sciences. Most of these began with simple assumptions and were built upon, to eventually form entire corpus of knowledge and principles.

My mom also attended a feng shui talk today, at the HomeDec fair at KL Convention Center. The speaker, a certain Mr Henry Fong, is an experienced feng shui consultant. His talk today was "What you absolutely must know before you buy a house". Apparently, he was quite good and the audience loved his session. He speaks good English and Chinese as well. He has a website and has made his e-book available to the public. Click here to visit the download page for the ebook.(Actually, if you dislike filling in the form, the PDF e-book is available here.)

For Chloe, you asked if frugalism has anything to do with generating passive income. From my readings, frugalism is actually about getting the same quality of life by cutting down on your expenditure. It doesn't mean cutting down on the quality of your life. But if you can forgo certain luxuries in life, then trimming the fat in those areas would also constitute frugal behaviour.

Ultimately, we save or spend less to increase our savings. We can either choose to increase our income, or lessen our expenditure, to accumulate savings in life. This isn't incongruous with the idea of investing or generating passive income. However passive income must be generated by some mechanism, either an asset (which gives rental), or a business (that gives profits). Read up on the factors of production in basic economics and you'll understand this point better. The thing is that getting that asset or building up the business takes time and money. There is nothing wrong with that -- it means we need to invest time and/or money to make our plan to generate passive income work. We need to admit that there is a limit of how much we can save (by cutting down on expenditure). But even then, our efforts are not counter-productive. We should recognise that we will be reaping the benefits of such efforts.

I am sorry but I do not know what is "kiam". :( Perhaps you could explain a little bit more.

I read an interesting article on WSJ. The article concerned an academic and his wife who together were drawing $250,000/= per annum and still complaining that they had monetary problems. One of the pieces of advice that I enjoyed was the following:

Think about relocating. No kidding. It's not about how much you earn, it's about how much you get to keep, and if you are paying too much to live in an expensive town like Chicago, you may be much better off earning less somewhere cheaper. You and your wife both have highly portable jobs. According to the ACCRA Cost of Living Index, someone earning $350,000 in Chicago could get the same standard of living on just $230,000 a year in, say, Austin, Texas or Cincinnati.

This is very interesting, as I had always hoped to live in cooler climes and to migrate to the outskirts of town. Not everyone relishes staying in the city where the traffic jams are massive and the petrol spending is beyond our control.


Chloe said...

'Kiam' is a word in hokkien I think, to describe one being stingy. (I think it is because Malaysians always say it when complaining about someone else being stingy with money)! :-)

So, the question is, wouldn't being frugal with one's expenses somewhat makes a person stingy because obviously he or she would be extra careful where the money is spent or who they spend it on?

I do apologise in advance for my comments as they would probably give an impression that I am anti- frugalism. :-) I am more inclined to spend time to increase my income so that I do not have to reduce my expenditure to maintain my quality of life. But that's just me! :-)

Another hypothetical question on needs and wants....(Rossi, feel free to add another 2 cents :-))... Let's just say a very successful businessman or a corporate highflier wants to purchase a you know brands of watches can range from being a Seiko to a Tag Heuer to a Patek Phillip. Which brand of watch should the businessman or corporate highflier choose, based on the principles of frugalism (i.e should he choose the cheaper brand in order to cut back expenses) or should he go for the premium watches based on his need to portray a more professional image?

I am open to the concept of frugalism... One can always learn new things from others! :-)